It’s an interesting story how I stumbled upon this delicious dish. I was browsing a few of my vintage cookbooks and ran across a recipe that sounded simply divine. The title was in French so I did a little internet research and discovered the dish had originated in Dijon, France. What a coincidence! My daughter has a lovely friend who lives in Dijon.
So of course I had to email Marion in Dijon and ask if her Mum knew anything about this recipe. I was thrilled to get a reply email with her Mum’s family recipe for Chicken Gaston Gerard and the true history of the recipe. Which for me is almost as much fun as the recipe itself. I really do love the history of food!
According to history, the recipe was created in 1930 for Curnosky, by the Mayor of Dijon’s Wife, Madame Gaston Gerard. Since that time its become a standard recipe in Burgundian cooking. Well, I can certainly understand why it stood the test of time. It’s simple, fresh from the market delicious!
The recipe is prepared several methods; with shallots instead of the onions, with bone in chicken pieces or boneless chicken breast and thighs and typically with Gruyère cheese, although Comte is acceptable as well. I’ve given substitutions for some of the ingredients just in case your market doesn’t carry a few specific ingredients. As always, this recipe is best when prepared to your tastes. Adding more or less of this or that is what it’s all about.
Many thanks to Stephanie Lecrigny and her lovely daughter Marion for this delightful French chicken recipe!
Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (feel free to substitute with fresh chicken pieces and adjust cooking times accordingly)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons oil (safflower, sunflower or coconut oil work best)
Salt and pepper
1 small sweet onion, halved and sliced
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ cups dry white wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ – 3/4 cup Crème Fraiche (or sour cream if creme fraiche is unavailable)
½ – 1 cup shredded Gruyère Cheese or Comte (if Gruyere or Comte is unavailable, Parmesan will make a good substitution)
Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Using a large skillet, add the butter and oil to the pan and heat on medium high.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
When the butter oil mixture is sizzling and frothy, add the chicken breasts and brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side.
Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and then place in the oven to finish cooking, about 10-15 minutes or when the chicken internal temperature reaches 155 – 160F using a meat thermometer.
In the same skillet turn down the heat to medium and add the onion slices and sauté the onions until golden brown.
Stir in the paprika and add the wine. Let the wine reduce by half.
Stir in the Dijon mustard and then the crème fraiche. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes and then pour over the cooked chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with Gruyère cheese and then place back in the oven to warm the chicken and melt the cheese. Transfer to a platter or individual plates.
This dish is delightful with brown and wild rice, sautéed mushrooms and peas, or warm Farro with asparagus tips. Bon Appetit!